2017-06-24 16:18:33 UTC
Quoting from the URL above:
If you use a laptop or desktop computer, chances are it has a
microprocessor from the Intel 808x line, regardless of whether it's a
Windows machine or a Mac. The utter dominance of these Intel
microprocessors goes back to 1978, when IBM chose the 8088 for its first
personal computer. Yet that choice was far from obvious. Indeed, some
who know the history assert that the Intel 8088 was the worst among
several possible 16-bit microprocessors of the day.
It was not. There was a serious alternative that was worse. I know
because I was in charge of the organization within Texas Instruments
that developed it: the TMS9900. Although this dog of a chip went on to
be used in the world's first 16-bit home computer, you've probably never
heard of it. As they say, history is written by the winners.
This particular chapter of history is interesting not just for TI's chip
but also for another also-ran, the Motorola 68000, which was
technologically superior to both the Intel 8088 and the TMS9900. And yet
the 68000 did not end up in the IBM PC. Here is the inside story of how
IBM came to pick an inferior chip, TI birthed a loser, and Motorola's
seeming winner lost, too.